Alert sounded as intel warns of Pak-trained commando attack off Gujarat coast
In what has triggered an alert along the Gujarat coast, the authorities at the Kandla port, one of the biggest in the country, have issued an alert claiming that Pakistan-trained commandoes were planning an underwater attack.
Though the authorities claimed that the alert was based on an Intelligence bureau input, the Gujarat Police have denied reports that a ‘commando group trained by Pakistan’ had breached the Indian maritime boundary.
The Port Trust authorities, in a message, said the Pakistan-trained commandoes are believed to have entered the Gulf of Kutch through the Harami Nala Creek Area.
The message said: “It is therefore directed to take utmost measures of security and prevent any untoward situation in Gujarat state, all ships at DPT (Deendayal Port Trust) to take utmost security measures and maintain anti-terror watch, and be alert.”
Signed by the Signal Superintendent of Deendayal Port Trust, formerly known as Kandla Port Trust, in Kutch, the message also directed all shipping authorities to inform their vessels berthed at Kandla and those expected to enter the port to remain alert and “maintain terror watch” and report any suspicious activity to the nearest coast guard station, marine police station and the port control.
It directed the Kandla Port Steamship Agents Association (KPSAA) to forward the message to all, including trade associations with liquid storage facilities, the Customs House Agents Association, the stevedors, barge operators and others.
It also directed Netherlands-based Van Oord, which has a contract to maintain Kandla port, to alert all dredgers and support craft in the channel and “maintain sharp watch and report any suspicious activity” to the port control.
But the Gujarat Police have denied that any such group had crossed over into India.
“There was a general IB alert of August 2, which claimed that attempts could be made to breach the maritime borders. But there are no confirmed reports of the so called group having crossed over into India,” a top Gujarat police official told the Tribune.
The alert comes in the wake of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir after New Delhi abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which Islamabad has termed an act of “annexation”.
India has upped its security in the wake of warmongering statements being made by Pakistani leaders over Kashmir.